How appealing are appeals?

Yesterday was the big fund raising day for the “Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy”, Poland’s equivalent of the “Children in Need” appeal that is run by the BBC each year and has Pudsey the bear as its logo (Ahhh!):

Interestingly, the headquarters of WSOP are on ul. Niedźwiedzia which means something like “Bear Street”. Spooky!

Here is Zosia displaying her red heart to prove that we did part on WSOP day, in case anyone is awarding brownie points:

It is pointless to compare the two days, but lets do it anyway. In Poland, WOSP raises (being slightly generous) 35 million PLN each year, about 7.4 million GBP or 19 pence per head of population. In the UK, CiN in 2007 raised 19 million GBP, or 32 pence per head. Not a bad result for Poland, in my opinion.

A rather worse result for Poland, and for the UK (but a great result for Africa), is the amount raised by the other annual appeal day in the UK, Red Nose Day. This raised a whopping 67.7 million GBP in 2007, or one pound and 12 pence per head! Apparently, 60% of this goes to people living in poverty in Africa and 40% to help disadvantaged people and communities in the UK. That brings the total UK spend on such days up to one pound 44 pence per head, a full 7.5 times more than Poland’s 19 p. Is this just the British “support the underdog” character coming through, are the Brits 7.5 times richer than the Poles, do Poles not like giving their money away (rhetorical question) ?

Why are the UK citizens giving 3.5 times more to a charity that looks after Africans (and UK families) than they do to a charity that helps their own children in need. Doesn’t the saying go that “Charity begins at home.”? Perhaps all those stories of binge drinking layabout kids in the UK have convinced people that more money is not the kind of sorting-out they really need! Or is it that the UK is so shallow that it would rather give 3.5 times more to Red Nose Day because it offers the best entertainment value and does not have Terry Wogan as its host?

Too many questions, too few answers.

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3 thoughts on “How appealing are appeals?

  1. One odd thing about WSOP is that they only (are only allowed?) to collect on one day, i.e. the 13th. Am I right about this, or is it just that they collect on the street for one day?

    Children in Need and Red Nose go on for at least a week, and people collect for it even longer. Maybe that’s one of the reasons they bring in more cash.

  2. I think Poland did a terrific job on Monday and per capita it must come close to the UK’s (I can’t be bothered to look up the math), plus as pointed about above its a one day event not multiple like CiN, etc. So well done Poland and the Polish people…Incidentally the French are the most generous aid givers in europe.

    On Africa, it is without question our moral obligation to right the wrongs of our fore-fathers, as Tony Blair famously said Africa is the ‘scar on the world’s conscience’. Let’s face it England took 1700 years to unite its tribes and did not succeed until Elisabeth 1st yet in one African case (Nigeria) we committed genocide and forced unity on 100’s of tribes in less than 50 years then turned them loose to their new ‘independent united country’ without as much as an education, oh and then we continued to plunder the natural resources and only provided them with a minority margin. So are we so wrong to give to Africa? Trust me I could right a veritable essay on why we MUST give to Africa and why we are responsible for aid to help this region develop but I will let it pass..as one who is deeply committed to charitable foundations I have studied this matter very carefully and understand the moral obligation of all men to each other.

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